Headlights and Horn In-op

AA Ford Discussion Group relating to the repair and restoration of your AA Ford.
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azguy39
Posts: 18
Joined: August 26th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Body Type: Flatbed
Model Year: 1929
Location: Prescott, AZ

Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by azguy39 » September 10th, 2019, 11:22 am

First I want to say I am new to owning a Model AA. Most of my resto-repair experience has been with early Mustangs, so I am way out of my comfort zone on where to start to diagnose problems with As.
I purchased my 29 AA as a older complete restoration driver, and home this week. Starts and appears to run well. Took it for one drive and discovered the headlights and horn do not work. That is my current focus to get operational. Prior owner states fully functional when he had it. The wiring appears to be new replacement harness. Everything is connected from what I can see. The light lever on the center of the steering wheel moves as it should and the horn button depresses and returns to position as it should. I am wondering if there is something simple to resolve this, before I start taking it apart and replacing switches and parts that may be fine? I plan on ordering a AA repair manual if there are any good suggestions out there on best one to get?

Also, I realize these are synchronized transmissions, so shifting takes some experience to no grind gears. Any quick tip on shifting the standard 3 speed with the ( I believe) standard two speed rear end? I have seen on this forum "double clutching" and learning to "finesse" the shift handle into gear. You-tube demo of a guy shifting a sedan said you have to "not be in a hurry and let the rpms get down to about idle speed before trying to make the shift"'.

Thanks, and great site for info. I am sure I will be back here with other questions.
Attachments
Switch Module.JPG
Switch Module and wiring at base of column
Switch Module.JPG (72.61 KiB) Viewed 1229 times

User avatar
azguy39
Posts: 18
Joined: August 26th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Body Type: Flatbed
Model Year: 1929
Location: Prescott, AZ

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by azguy39 » September 10th, 2019, 11:25 am

Sorry, I meant to say I just got the AA home this week, and I realize these are "un"-synchronized transmissions.

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Chris Haynes
Posts: 2083
Joined: September 7th, 2003, 5:18 pm
Body Type: 82A
Model Year: 1930
Location: North Hills, CA/ Pine Grove, CA

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by Chris Haynes » September 10th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Unless you are a very experienced driver of a "Crash Box" double clutching is a must. That is when shifting you you release the clutch when in between gears and depress it again before going into the next gear. It will become second nature with time. With that being said I only use the clutch when starting and stopping and change gears without it. This takes a great deal of experience to learn.
The "Dual High", which is actually an under-drive unit, should only be shifted when the truck is stopped.
Enjoy your AA.

KimVanOrder
Posts: 593
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by KimVanOrder » September 10th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Look up the drawing of the switch at https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/catalog-request Then you can figure out how it works.. Not a big deal. Also what I ended up doing to resolve the same type issue on mine was to run a seperate Ground wire to everything.. Grounding thru the body and frame connections is just asking for trouble.. Good luck and have fun.. :D
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

KimVanOrder
Posts: 593
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by KimVanOrder » September 10th, 2019, 3:24 pm

BTW!! that nice clean floor is going to change!!! :shock: :lol:
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

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1crosscut
Posts: 814
Joined: December 25th, 2010, 7:22 pm
Body Type: 82-A
Model Year: 1929
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by 1crosscut » September 10th, 2019, 4:33 pm

On the horn make sure the connections to the horn are clean. You can get at them by removing the small screw on the back cover of the horn.
Then take a small piece of fine sand paper and polish the commutator. Do this by turning the horn motor by hand and holding the sand paper against the commutator. Polishing it up can do wonders.
Also you may need to adjust the horn by turning the adjustment screw. One or two clicks can make a big difference.

On the shifting. Yes you need to be patient to allow the gears in the transmission to slow down to shift with out clashing the gears. That said when you first start driving the truck the oil in the transmission will be cold and you will need to shift relatively quick between gears. As you drive for a while the oil will warm up and you will need to wait longer between shifts as you go.

You may want to drain the oil out and replace it with new 600 wt from the vendors. It is possible that too light of oil is in it now and that will cause you no end of problems shifting. The oil needs to be thick to slow down the gears.

Welcome to the hobby!

Where are you located?
------------
Dave

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azguy39
Posts: 18
Joined: August 26th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Body Type: Flatbed
Model Year: 1929
Location: Prescott, AZ

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by azguy39 » September 11th, 2019, 1:10 pm

And I thought I would just get a restored AA and drive it without much hassle. Got to get use to I reckon, and figure out the constant tweaking to keep it going. I will get at it between now and this weekend to see what I can get fixed. I hate electrical worst of all mechanical work as I have the least knowledge of that area. .
I did pick up a 31 AA basket case that is suppose to be complete, however it is in the upper Midwest and I am in Prescott AZ, so my brother will go get it in the next 4-5 days and bring it to his shop in Indiana. Supposed to be, and looks, complete from the limited pics I got. Will see if it has the rear spare tire undercarriage mount I am missing. Also considering changing to the pinion rear end over the worm gear on the 29 since it is suppose to run better and a little faster, though not sure if that is going to hurt the value. Also got to see if it has 4 spd trans as would like to go to that for a little extra speed. Probably list the rest of the parts here, and/or trade some for few that I need like that spare tire carrier and a 6 hole spare wheel. Once he gets it to shop and looks it over, will see which way it goes. He is a A novice , but a few years ahead and owning A vehicles, than I. He just sold his AA this year, so he should be able to assess what I bought.

Thanks everyone for the tips. Will see if I have any luck.

KimVanOrder
Posts: 593
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by KimVanOrder » September 11th, 2019, 3:34 pm

azguy39 wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 1:10 pm
And I thought I would just get a restored AA and drive it without much hassle. Got to get use to I reckon, and figure out the constant tweaking to keep it going. I will get at it between now and this weekend to see what I can get fixed. I hate electrical worst of all mechanical work as I have the least knowledge of that area. .
I did pick up a 31 AA basket case that is suppose to be complete, however it is in the upper Midwest and I am in Prescott AZ, so my brother will go get it in the next 4-5 days and bring it to his shop in Indiana. Supposed to be, and looks, complete from the limited pics I got. Will see if it has the rear spare tire undercarriage mount I am missing. Also considering changing to the pinion rear end over the worm gear on the 29 since it is suppose to run better and a little faster, though not sure if that is going to hurt the value. Also got to see if it has 4 spd trans as would like to go to that for a little extra speed. Probably list the rest of the parts here, and/or trade some for few that I need like that spare tire carrier and a 6 hole spare wheel. Once he gets it to shop and looks it over, will see which way it goes. He is a A novice , but a few years ahead and owning A vehicles, than I. He just sold his AA this year, so he should be able to assess what I bought.

Thanks everyone for the tips. Will see if I have any luck.
Also got to see if it has 4 spd trans as would like to go to that for a little extra speed.

A four speed has the same Top end as a three speed. High gear is 1:1 on both. so it will be no faster, Just more shifting.. Stick with the original on everything you can to keep value up. ( my opinion). BUT if some change lets you enjoy it more, go for it!!

Also the big trick to wiring, is good connections.. Have fun and keep us updated. :D
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

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azguy39
Posts: 18
Joined: August 26th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Body Type: Flatbed
Model Year: 1929
Location: Prescott, AZ

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by azguy39 » September 12th, 2019, 7:29 pm

I went through and checked and re-tightened connections. Checked bulbs. Still no lights, horn and also noted tail lights don't work. I have a acquaintance friend that has restored many early 20th century cars, so I will contact him to see if he can lend any help. I will try and get that 600wt gear oil in the trans as I have taken it out for a second drive and tried double clutching and waiting for RPMS to be down to almost Idle and still get grinding gears. Can't seem to get it above about 30 mph and at any incline it drops to maybe 15-20. I am thinking it is not the cream puff ready to drive anywhere truck it was marketed as. I will look into full tune up, draining fuel (don't know how old it is) and replacing the carburetor. I am leaning toward going with updated ignition and intake systems to eliminate headaches now and in the future. Keep the original parts if I end up selling

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1crosscut
Posts: 814
Joined: December 25th, 2010, 7:22 pm
Body Type: 82-A
Model Year: 1929
Location: Lincoln, NE

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by 1crosscut » September 12th, 2019, 8:10 pm

Well 30 mph is pretty much cruising speed in the AA trucks with the worm drive rear end.
Now your lugging down to 15 mph on hills is a bit troubling. Are you sure that you have the timing set correctly and are operating the spark advance lever as it should be?
If it is too retarded you will lack power and usually will run hot.

Les Andrews Volume 1 book available from any Model A vendor is an excellent (must have) manual for you to get.

It's looking like you may not be getting power to the light switch at the end of the steering column. Get a test light and start checking your wiring. Start at the wire going from your cut out on the generator that leads to the light switch. It supplies power to the lights, tail lights, brake lights, horn etc...
On the horn take two jumper wires and run negative to one side and positive to the other side of the horn bypassing the trucks wiring system to see if the horn works.

Please refrain from going away from stock ignition etc... The "modern" stuff causes more troubles for folks than the original set up ever does. The stock system is a lot easier to diagnose and fix along the side of the road if necessary.

What carburetor do you have? Zeinith are stock and many have Tilliston's added later. Both usually can be cleaned up and will work fine. Getting a rebuild kit and doing it yourself is a lot cheaper than buying a refurbished one.

Sent you a p.m.
------------
Dave

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Neil Wilson
Posts: 2760
Joined: February 5th, 2003, 9:42 pm
Body Type: 82-A/89-A
Model Year: 1930
Location: Boulder, CO
Contact:

More MPH?

Post by Neil Wilson » September 12th, 2019, 9:09 pm

azguy39 wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Also considering changing to the pinion rear end over the worm gear on the 29 since it is suppose to run better and a little faster... Also got to see if it has 4 spd trans as would like to go to that for a little extra speed.
You will gain about .3 MPH by making those changes. Check out https://aafords.com/aa-information/#mph

5.17:1 worm gear drive @ 2350 engine RPM = 41.6 MPH
5.14:1 bevel gear drive @ 2350 engine RPM = 41.9 MPH

Want more speed - make sure you have the high speed axle gears and add a Warford overdrive (gives 134% MPH)
Regards, Neil Wilson
______________________________________
neil@aafords.com - use this email for contact
https://aafords.com/ - Ford Model AA Truck Club @ aafords.com

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Neil Wilson
Posts: 2760
Joined: February 5th, 2003, 9:42 pm
Body Type: 82-A/89-A
Model Year: 1930
Location: Boulder, CO
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Re: More MPH?

Post by Neil Wilson » September 12th, 2019, 9:13 pm

azguy39 wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Also considering changing to the pinion rear end over the worm gear on the 29 since it is suppose to run better and a little faster... Also got to see if it has 4 spd trans as would like to go to that for a little extra speed.
You will gain about .3 MPH by changing rear axle. Check out https://aafords.com/aa-information/#mph

5.17:1 worm gear drive @ 2350 engine RPM = 41.6 MPH
5.14:1 bevel gear drive @ 2350 engine RPM = 41.9 MPH

Want more speed - make sure you have the high speed axle gears and add a Warford overdrive (gives 134% MPH). Changing to a 4-speed will not alter MPH. Other overdrives also.
Regards, Neil Wilson
______________________________________
neil@aafords.com - use this email for contact
https://aafords.com/ - Ford Model AA Truck Club @ aafords.com

User avatar
azguy39
Posts: 18
Joined: August 26th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Body Type: Flatbed
Model Year: 1929
Location: Prescott, AZ

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by azguy39 » September 15th, 2019, 10:12 am

Thanks again for tips. Horn running but no sound yet. I know about the adjustment screw, so will try and finish that today. Dug in to the lights a little more. Found on closer inspection all front lamps are burnt out. I pulled two when I first got and they looked good, but looking now with reader glasses I noticed they have tiny gap in fulfillment). Right head lamp connection is burnt (melted inside) and the left head lamp connection metal outer casing is frozen closed, so figuring it has had it too. Going to have to destroy it to get it apart, but gotta get it open. There is power at the switch connector and upon taking it apart I noted one of the contact points appeared to have gotten a little hot as the plastic around it is melted some. There is constant power to the headlight plug with the key off and light lever on the wheel at any position. Don't know A's yet and awaiting the manual, but that don't seem right. Taillights not burnt, but don't work. Tried jumping the brake pedal switch poles but they do not come on.
I am going to play with it a little today. See if I can get sound out of the horn so I can feel like I am getting some headway, but the melted stuff concerns me, so this is where I think replacing parts will be necessary. My guess is maybe someone tried to jump it with 12 volt, but just a guess. There aren't to many relays and switches, so will hopefully eliminate what is damaged and causing the problem. Had to be electrical, my weak point, and on a vehicle I don't know much about. But, they are pretty basic.

Thanks for the suggestions and tips

On another note. The 1931 AA basket case truck was picked up by my brother and is now in central Indiana at his storage building. He said he will see about getting parts laid out and photo'd this week. We will list them to sell since I have also learned that just about nothing on a 31 can be used on a 29, except some of the drive line, and it did not have the rear spare carrier I am lacking along with spare wheel. Another lesson. He said he will see about getting a title for the frame, and will advise if block ID matches frame. No rear fenders, but nice metal and bed. Couple transmissions, and the engine is disassembled. Will get prices figured after he assesses condition. There are two radiators. The back one in photo has already been claimed. Prior owner had bought in the early 80s and took apart to restore , but never got to it. My brother mentioned "no rust'', but will have more supporting photos on that. I'll attach a few I have. VIN AA-3918661 (Sept 9, 1930 Production)

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azguy39
Posts: 18
Joined: August 26th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Body Type: Flatbed
Model Year: 1929
Location: Prescott, AZ

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by azguy39 » September 15th, 2019, 10:15 am

Lets try again and see if photos come through.
Attachments
Doors and Frame.jpg
Doors and Frame.jpg (97.01 KiB) Viewed 1089 times
Cab.jpg
Cab.jpg (123.62 KiB) Viewed 1089 times
Block Trans & parts.jpg
Block Trans & parts.jpg (95.94 KiB) Viewed 1089 times
Bed.jpg
Bed.jpg (101.86 KiB) Viewed 1089 times
1931 Parts.jpg
1931 Parts.jpg (87.68 KiB) Viewed 1089 times

KimVanOrder
Posts: 593
Joined: August 11th, 2013, 4:25 pm
Body Type: 82-A Platform
Model Year: 1928
Location: Hamilton, Mich.

Re: Headlights and Horn In-op

Post by KimVanOrder » September 15th, 2019, 1:16 pm

The good news is,,,, you don't have to take much apart !!! :lol:
KVO
Dec. '28 AA

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